Billie Holiday (Lady Day) essays
Billie Holiday,also known as Lady Day was born in Baltimore in 1915. She spent hard time in her childhood. Billie Holiday’s grandfather was one of 17 children of a black Virginia slave and a white Irish plantation owner. She was born from 15 year-old father and 13 year-old mother. It is shown in thefirst line of her famous autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, “Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen, and I was three.” Her musician father left the family early, and her mother wasn’t able to keep her consistently which resulted in Billie often being put in care or relatives who abused her.She was raped at age of 11, became a prostitute when she was 14, and was arrested for prostitution year after.
She moved to New York in 1929 and started working as a maid and a prostitute, and made her singing debut in bars and restaurants. In 1935, she recorded for sides that contains What a Little Moonlight Can Do, and Miss Brown to You, and acquired her recording contract. Lady Day was with Count Basie's Orchestra in 1937. However, only three songs from radio broadcast are the all exist works because they were signed to different labels. She also worked with Artie Shaw's Orchestra for a while next year, but the same kind of problem happened and only one song was recorded.
She had her voice at its strongest during the period with Decca between 1944-1949, and she made her biggest hit with Love Man. Unfortunately, she became addicted to heroin and put in jail just after this period. She became famous, and Lady Day got a chance to make one Hollywood movie in 1964. She was not really pleased by playing maid, she came to perform with Louis Armstrong who is her early idol.
After 1950, her story slowly starts declining. Due to the heroin abuse and excessive drinking continued, her voice was deteriorating fast, and by 1956 she was completely past her prime. Her final accomplishm…